Here you will find NEWS & REVIEWS of art, entertainment and educational works provided by artists. Rune Works is a source of entertainment, production, P/R, and publishing services. Inquire more about RUNE WORKS here.
Back to Blog
Spider-Man: Far From Home ushers in great new Marvel Phase by cementing Spidey’s own franchise that can finally place the web slinger back as the banner bearer of Marvel, just as Batman and Superman have long been for DC.
Marvel Studios needed to buy back their franchise.
And they did, splitting it with Sony, but creative control going to Marvel Studios where the comic books hold up exceptionally well in their adaptations to the silver screen.
Since the last pair of Avenger’s films and the first two Iron Man flicks, there have not been two consecutive Marvel movies that proved to be exceptional, top 10 or even top 5 Marvel movies, but now with Spider-Man: Far From Home we have just that.
Both Spider-man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home are exceptional films.
Both capture the dynamic of Peter Parker, the young awkward nerd and Spider-man whipping wise-cracks, like bullets.
Both had complex antagonists, in Vulture and Mysterio, that made the movies all the more intriguing.
And both had the fantastic, leaping off the pages and comic panels action scenes that emanated the books so well.
Without the cinematic rights to Spidey, Marvel wisely revived Captain America to be the torchbearer, along with his lifelong friend, competitor, and foil in a lot of ways in Iron Man.
Iron Man built the Avengers and Cap led them.
But all of this was to engage fans in Marvel comics while they built up the massive capital it took to buy back their biggest commodity, their local hero from Queens, Spider-man.
It took many years, but now Spider-man has cemented himself as the face of Marvel in as good a way as you could ever have hoped.
Spidey is always in the thick of it, from Secret Wars to the Infinity Guantlet storylines, and he has guest appeared in countless stories of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and so many others.
Not to mention, Spider-man brought in the debut of the Punisher, Venom, Carnage, and myriad other heroes, anti-heroes, and villains.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is truly remarkable in that it brings the exact look and feel of the Mysterio battles home to viewers.
The look and feel and humor and scientist nerd tinkering with building a suit all comes straight from the source material, albeit a bit updated in all the right places to make the film relatable and flawless.
It is fun and exciting, dramatic and endearing, and at times painfully poignant.
And this is the second time in a row that these movies have accomplished this feat.
There are so many great Marvel films, and very good ones, but the magical ones are few – the Thor: Ragnarok leaping from Jack Kirby’s pages or Captain America: The Winter Soldier – and yet, like the first two appearances of Tony Stark who cemented the foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-man’s first two dedicated movies are possibly the best Marvel has made yet.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is magic, pure and simple.
And as Marvel pivots into the next “Marvel Phase” they can use the web slinger to introduce the Fantastic Four to help rid him of the alien symbiote (black suit), or the Punisher into the movies, or the X-Men.
And like Iron Man did before, he can show up and help to cameo in any other Marvel flick, except maybe the strictly space films.
DC Comics and Warner Bros. never had to sell off the rights to Superman and Batman, and so their two biggest flag bearers have remained front and center in their books and their movies.
What is a shame is that the innovative comic books have not been relied on as heavily for source material for a lot of their films, and so many of the Superman and Batman-involved movies have been good, bad, or ugly, but few have been great.
Superman I, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut, Man of Steel, Batman, Batman Returns, and Nolan‘s “Dark Knight trilogy” are all incredible, but there are just as many duds.
After Marvel’s “Endgame” highpoint, this is a thrilling new chapter starting in the MCU thanks to the utterly brilliant Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The only thing we have seen from Spider-man onscreen for the MCU so far is greatness.
"Spider-Man: Far From Home Ushers In Great New Marvel Phase" was written by R.J. Huneke.
Back to Blog
Avengers: ENDGAME Spoiler-FREE Rune Review has to give the ultimate culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe a 10/10 score, or hell, make it an 11 out of 10!
This “Avengers: ENDGAME Spoiler-FREE Review POWkabam” will talk about the feelings and the power of the flick.
And I vow to do my best to not even hint at a possible outcome of the movie’s events.
As a lifelong comic books fan, with a favorite of Thanos from the time when TheInfinity Gauntletdropped, the use of the title Avengers: Infinity Warbrought about conflicting feelings.
That was before seeing the Russo brothers’ film.
I was conflicted because I knew that the writing of genius Jim Starlin and the character he created was not going to be portrayed with much from the Thanos Quest, TheInfinity Gauntlet, andThe Infinity War books.
There are mild Spoilers* to Avengers: Infinity War.Well guess what: the MCU has done nothing short of a remarkable job with nearly all of their comic book adaptations and as much it is its own thing, it kept the spirit of Starlin’s opus intact and brought audiences an awesome ruthless tyrant in Thanos on screen.
The movie had so many surprises and showed off the big purple chin’s intelligence, resolve, and triumph.
And so I loved it.
I did not expect to, but I did all the same.
And so with the finale I went in with less expectations.
Anything could happen in Avengers: ENDGAME.I had one guess only, which I will not utter here, as to an outcome of the plot, but otherwise was really enamored with the infinite (pun intended) possibilities of Avengers: ENDGAME.
I had no idea where they were going, what they were going to try and pull off, or how ambitious it might be.
It is so damn good that I would compare its predecessor with the Babe pointing his finger into the stands and then with Avengers: ENDGAME being the point where he hit the ball out of the park!
Read the rest at POWkabam.com here!
“Avengers: ENDGAME Spoiler-FREE POWkabam Review” was written by R.J. Huneke.
Back to Blog
NY Comic Con 2018 Art: RJ Huneke, Elizabeth Yoo, Fred Harper and more folks will be at the Rune Works Booth #1061 with SPY WOMAN SPY, loads of art, free swag, and more at the Javits Center!
I could not be more excited for New York Comic Con this year.
I am STOKED!
I am currently pitching the follow-up to my novel CYBERWAR, and am releasing, at NYCC, alongside my good friend and amazing artist Elizabeth Yoo, the very first preview issue of the CYBERWAR World prequel graphic novel series SPY WOMAN SPY!
This comic book features Xera Finn and Fae Yu from CYBERWAR.
SPY WOMAN SPY takes place in the near future, in the CUSA, where the two disillusioned foreign agents, friends, and lovers struggle to cope with breaking ties to their past. As their birthplace, Wangluo, demands more and more heinous acts of allegiance from Xera and Fae in the Cold Cyberwar, a horrible act of government-sanctioned child trafficking is uncovered rattling the two spies to their core. Betraying orders will be costly!
SPY WOMAN SPY written by (yours truly) R.J. Huneke, and art by Elizabeth Yoo, will be premiering the first preview book SPY WOMAN SPY Issue # 0 at the New York Comic Con.
It has been five years since my car accident, and I am not yet at 100% (getting close), but my creative drive has never been stronger.
Many new projects (children’s book series anyone?) and art are coming very soon, and though I have struggled to work I have by no means been idle.
I am thankful to have befriended some great people who also happen to make art and are going to be on-hand with me at NYCC 2018.
So back to the Rune Works Booth #1061 NY Comic Con 2018!
The talented illustrator Fred Harper will be there – badass Hulk prints in tow – and he will be doing commissions throughout the Con as well as painting and possibly even taking a musical turn on his infamous cowbell.
My longtime friend and now bookmate artist Elizabeth Yoo has been producing amazing cover art for novels and even movie sets and productions.
Her work is truly unique and resonates deeply on many levels, and I am ecstatic that she is producing a deeply noir-esque and never-before-seen take on the comic book art form as a co-creator and the artist of SPY WOMAN SPY.
I could not have imagined anyone who grasps the feel of the Cyber world more than Elizabeth.
Along with Fred having prints, original art, and commissions, Elizabeth will have many limited edition prints on sale, as well as a host of other goodies.
Liz’s amazing “Joker” piece and “Pyscho” piece will be on a heavy-duty tote, and the Mr. Romero’s Joker lips will be hand-colored by Ms. Yoo at the table! They are $10 a piece or $5 with any other purchase!
There will be magnets and Comic Con-only discounts to Liz’s art!
And yes, the author R.J. Huneke, yours truly, will have a limited number of copies of his book CYBERWAR and will be signing them.
I recently uncovered a box while moving that had the sold out hardcover in it and I have a few paperbacks left as well!
Please check in at the booth for signing schedules for all of the artists.
And be sure to talk to CD. Chenet, whose Dare2Draw non-profit has brought comic books, published artists and aspiring artists together for education, amazing lessons, and fun exploration of the craft.
From their site Dare2Draw.org: The Dare2Draw is a non-profit mentoring and networking platform for all comic book and creator artists, an opportunity to connect with each other, face-to-face, encouraging good health and business practices for cartoonists. Established artists and arts organizations meet in a supportive setting, putting the art back in sequential art.
And, as always, there will be free candy, bookmarks, Joker playing cards, and fun swag galore!
On behalf of the Rune Works team, I’ll see you there, at NY Comic Con, in just ONE WEEK! ~RJ Huneke
Back to Blog
New York Comic Con 2017 RUNE WORKS Exclusives: New CYBERWAR! was written by R.J. Huneke. And yes it is true the Rune Works NYCC Booth # 1061 will have even more New York Comic Con 2017 RUNE WORKS Exclusives coming from author and artists R.J. Huneke, Fred Harper and Elizabeth Yoo.
The RUNE WORKS schedule is as follows:
There will be a prequel comic book featuring characters from R.J. Huneke’s cyberpunk noir thriller the CYBERWAR Series titled SPY WOMAN SPY.
If you could not guess it is starring two of the leading ladies, the infamous CYBERWAR Series heroines Xera Finn and Fae Yu as they live their double lives in the shadows of the Port Jefferson black market, which is always at risk of being shut down by the Cyber United States government’s local CNYPD forces.
But that is not all.
Along with the opening pages of this CYBERWAR Series prequel the graphic novel is followed by a never before released in print spy tale, a short story of William Waltz the Cyber Warrior.
This thrilling throwback to the days when Waltz hacked his way into and out of jam after perilous jam as a Cyber Warrior is titled THE CYBER WARRIOR AWAKENS and was only briefly featured as a short online on rjhuneke.com and cyberwarseries.com.
The newest book for the kickoff novel for the CYBERWAR Series is coming very soon . . . drop by for news from the author, yours truly!
There will be five incredible pieces of artwork available in limited edition archival print runs of Mr. Romero (The Joker?), Adam West (is that Batman and Catwoman at a 60’s shindig of a soda shop?) and The Blondes of Alfred Hitchcock: the beauties of THE BIRDS Tippi Hedren and Kim Novak!
We are talking about amazing prints that reflect the paintings (see ElizabethYoo.com.
There are three sizes of prints, so that there is an affordable $5 4x6” print of each, a $20 8x10” print (or 2 for $30), and $40 each for a 13x19” masterpiece collection piece.
But there’s more: rumor has it the TIPPI piece comes in her natural blonde or her noir blue colorations . . .
And then there will be two, only two, of these pieces that are coming in a limited edition and utterly incredible magnet ($5 only folks!).
The man, the myth, the legend, Fred Harper will be bringing MARS ATTACKS pieces and we hope a bevy of his art – check out fharper.com and fredharper.com!
More announcements are coming!
Check all of our sites and come hungry for there will be FREE candy, bookmarks, and knowledge to eat up at the booth.
Back to Blog
The Dark Tower Movie: A Grand Sequel To Stephen King’s Epic" by R.J. Huneke – No doubt many Constant Readers are divided into groups of surprised, bitter, unsettled, or elated audience members of author Stephen King’s newest film adaptation, but viewers must keep in mind that this is not a direct adaptation of the novel.
This bold film is meant to do something new with the author’s work.
This reality is being lost on many.
Stephen King and the director Arcel came up with this idea of where the next step for Roland's character would be in relation to the dark Tower ... and its genius!
The acting, writing, thrilling action, and soaring storyline of The Dark Tower Movie weave through timelines and worlds majestically, like bullets through the air.
And the gunplay of Roland, which Idris Elba had to spend many weeks training to bring to life, is incredible.
The twirl of the sandalwood gripped irons, the crossing of their carved and inscribed barrels, and the Superman-like speed of their wielding are reasons worth watching the movie for alone.
Moviegoers who are not familiar with the gunslinger-centered work of King’s are loving the incredibly innovative and exciting tale of Roland, the last in a line of gunslingers sworn to uphold the White and protect the Dark Tower, the nexus of the universe, all realities, all of time and all of existence.
Those who have read of Sai King’s Roland are in for a treat.
The Dark Tower Movie is a sequel to the 4,000+ page magnum opus and life’s work, of best-selling author, Stephen King.
The books, starting with the first part The Gunslinger and ending with the finale in The Dark Tower (book eight is really part 4.5 in the series) comprise eight novels that make up one volume, one epic, The Dark Tower, and many of King’s other works of art (The Stand, The Talisman, Hearts In Atlantis, It) are tied to this grand uber-tale.
WARNING: Spoilers For The Books and Movies To Follow
But again, folks, The Dark Tower Movie is a sequel to the book.
The film is wholly innovative and carves its own path in the wood that will hopefully lead to the vast field of roses at sunset.
After Roland climbed the top of the Tower with his soul mangled beyond recognition and his heart aching with love for a son named Jake and all those that die in his path, Roland is sent back to repeat his life in what has been hundreds, maybe thousands, of turns of the wheel or attempts at life.
The Tower and all of existence stand in the balance alongside Roland’s soul, his Ka-tet, and his quest.
King leaves us with hope for the journey Roland embarks on at the very end of the book (the start of that journey through the desert: “The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed” [The Gunslinger by Stephen King]), because this is a new journey where the lost Horn of the Eld is borne by Roland so that he can finally wind it and truly succeed to the tower’s true top should he remain true to his soul along the way.
And so Sai King and Sai Arcel (the film’s brilliant director) delved into their imaginations and pulled out a daring approach to the big screen.
The Dark Tower Movie would be Roland’s last go of the wheel of Ka.
And, with the Horn, Roland would be living a completely different set of events to bring him to the Tower.
Ka is a wind, after all.
And in this movie, Roland is lost and his quest for the tower, for the defense of all that is good, is gone; a lust for revenge consumes him.
The Man in Black, aka Walter - played with all the creepiness, suave and slimy dialogue and love of cruelty to the teeth by Matthew McConaughey - killed Roland’s father.
Walter facilitated the murder of all of the remaining gunslingers at the Battle of Jericho Hill.
The only one to survive is Roland of the line of Arthur Eld.
When the film takes place, Roland is no longer even calling himself a gunslinger.
This is something that takes me, and I am sure King’s Constant Readers, aback!
Fans of the character, many who love the character like myself, feel a sense of bone-jarring shock.
Roland would never have forsaken what is a part of his very being, being a gunslinger . . . he would never do this (this would mean forgetting the face of his father, wouldn’t it?) . . . and yet at this last attempt at a life, he does.
Jake Chambers is both wholly new and very much the same empathetic boy and is played by Tom Taylor in a show-stealing depiction of the soon-to-be gunslinger.
The visions, a product of Jake’s strong ESP, add a new significance as he is targeted to be a breaker. Walter thinks that such a mind can become a breaker powerful enough to the destroy the final beams and make the Tower fall.
The beams are not explained in the movie, and instead the ‘Beam Quakes’ are explained as assaults on the Tower, like mental missiles, but the Beams could be delved into in the subsequent movies and TV series [check out The Dark Tower TV Series: Walking Dead Alum Glen Mazzara Will Serve as Showrunner].
Another difference between the two mediums is the ESP ability being referred to in the book as the ‘Touch’ and in the film is called the ‘Shine’.
What is as true as it ever could be, set your watch and warrant on it, is the relationship between Roland and Jake played by the brilliant actors Idris Elba and Tom Taylor.
Elba is remarkable in his performance and brings the quiet strength and grizzled, obsessive man to life perfectly.
His character arc plays out very well from the untrusting, loner/survivor to the more human and slightly more compassionate gunslinger knight to what could potentially become a surrogate father’s love for the boy Jake.
Their interactions are funny, at times, as Roland is introduced to soda for the first time in his life (some of these scenes are calling Eddie Dean up to the plate early) and other scenes are heart wrenching, like when Roland teaches Jake to shoot. The gunslinger’s creed, which Roland has not said aloud in time beyond count, is recited by he and the youth-in-training at the same time as their relationship progresses with the impending danger.
In just 95 minutes, The Dark Tower Movie starts a new grand saga for Roland, the gunslinger, and his Ka-tet; Jake is one part of a new family of gunslingers for now, but maybe Oy and Mr and Mrs. Dean (and dare I say Father Callahan too) will follow.
Do not miss out on this, a rare beauty of a film.
This is just the start.
There are other worlds than these.
The Dark Tower Movie carves new ground in an amazing and intricate manner that can only lead to a new way further down the gunslinger’s path on the Beam.
"The Dark Tower Movie: A Grand Sequel To Stephen King’s Epic" was first published on RuneWorks.com.
Back to Blog
Celebrate THE BIRDS 54th Anniversary: Get 20% Off LE “Tippi”
Celebrate THE BIRDS 54th Anniversary: Get 20% Off LE “Tippi” from artist and Alfred Hitchcock fanatic Elizabeth Yoo, who has signed her rare edition of natural color and noir-esque blue lithograph prints.
The film, The Birds, shook the world upon its release on March 28th 54 years ago.
Elizabeth Yoo has been enraptured by the filmmaker’s suspense, scintillating art, and stunning visuals images.
“Tippi” is inspired by the racy Tippi Hedren in her on-screen debut, and the look and feel of this piece of art is almost breathing, from both Tippi and the ominous bird draped over her arm.
There are only a 100 of these signed pieces going out, folks.
Join us in the great film’s celebration, and get 20% off of the regular $32 price for the hand signed and numbered 18" x 24" lithograph.
The Birds is a 1963 American horror-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. It focuses on a series of sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks on the people of Bodega Bay, California over the course of a few days.
The film stars Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren, in her screen debut, supported by Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette and Veronica Cartwright. The screenplay is by Evan Hunter, who was told by Hitchcock to develop new characters and a more elaborate plot while keeping du Maurier's title and concept of unexplained bird attacks. In 2016, The Birds was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress, and selected it for preservation in its National Film Registry. [Wikipedia]
'The Birds' By Elizabeth Yoo L.E. Print $32*
This stunning tribute to Alfred Hitchcock's horror/thriller classic film The Birds is truly one of a kind. This 18" x 24" lithograph is hand signed by artist Elizabeth Yoo and is part of a limited edition print run of 100. The $32 print comes with $10 shipping and materials to a $42 total to the 48 continental US states.* Other interested parties can contact us here to buy.
Back to Blog
"Uninspired Interview: highly relatable millennial aimlessness" written by Elizabeth Yoo was first published on RuneWorks.com
Becky Yamamoto’s hilarious web series Uninspired offers succinct episodes of highly relatable millennial aimlessness. Women-driven television shows such as HBO’s Insecure and Comedy Central’s Broad City (both of which started off as web series) make us laugh, cringe and nod our heads in agreement. We’ve all had embarrassing experiences and stumbling blocks while on the road to adulthood.
Living in Brooklyn with her stoner boyfriend, Sarah, played by Yamamoto, encounters people, whether they be romantic prospects, friends, or co-workers, with seemingly zero knowledge of social mores, much to her chagrin (and our laughter).
The pilot, which debuted in 2013, played at the New York Television Festival that year. In a partnership with IFC, an episode is highlighted in the Comedy Crib on IFC’s website, as part of an assortment of short-form comedies from NYTF’s Official Selections of years past.
I interviewed creator, writer, producer, and actress Yamamoto over the phone shortly before the season 2 launch party earlier held at Videology last month. Each episode of the 6-episode season, directed by Adam Wirtz, will be released every Friday until the end of this month. Yamamoto provided insights into the formation of the protagonist and explained her process.
One of the things I love about this show is how relatable it is. You keep rooting for this character but you know something is always gonna go badly.
Every time she experiences a setback, something new comes into her life: a potential new guy, a new friend, a new job… and then everything kind of becomes more disappointment. Is this something you’ve seen a lot in your own life or people you’ve known?
Yeah, totally. I think a lot of it is almost, like, directly drawn from everyday kind of experiences like frustrations, where people that you are forced to interact with because, you know, New York, and life, and everyone’s so close to you… For instance that job [In season one, a hysterical episode involves Sarah signing cards as part of her new temp job]. I’ve had so many weird, questionable jobs… like that job where I have to sign Christmas cards is a job I’ve actually had before. When I first moved here, it was my temp agency that signed me up… I had to sign, I forget how many… I think it was, like, a ridiculous amount. I had to change color pens based on the different people. It was kind of amazing. A lot is drawn directly from things that happened to me or my friends. It’s kind of like that.
How did the idea for the show come about?
Specifically, I think I just wanted to do something that was kind of the expression of what’s been going on with me. The first season I made a couple of years back, stuff with relationships. I do stand-up too so a lot of my stuff is personal and autobiographical. I figured I would do something that was more of a narrative. I used to do solo shows before but I feel like this might be a format that was more relatable, easier.
You write all the episodes yourself?
I do, yes.
What is the creative process like?
At the time I was kind of in a writing group so we’d meet up every couple weeks and bring episodes, things that we’re working on, and I think I’d get an idea from something that just happened to me, see if I could put it into something…. It’s a mixed process.
What were some of the challenges in creating this web series?
I think when you’re making something yourself you have to motivate yourself to actually get it done. That’s always a challenge because there wasn’t a production company that was pushing me to make it. I decided I wanted to do it. So I think that was a challenge. Also, I was lucky enough to have a director I love working with who was game for whatever I wanted to do. So that challenge was tackled. Locations are a challenge on a low budget… It was a lot of neighbors, asking a lot of friends for favors… So those are some challenges. I started asking people for things all the time. So those are just some of the logistical challenges, I think.
What do you think makes cringe comedy so effective?
I think I’m really drawn to it naturally. I remember the first time I saw the British Office, I was like, “Oh my God, this makes my heart ache to watch.” It was so uncomfortable. I just love it. A lot of British comedies like to go there. Also, I just saw Fleabag recently and it was really very intense. I just love when people are willing to go there. Just make everyone uncomfortable. I guess this is my chance to be the same. It kind of hits you pretty hard. I guess that’s what people respond to, really.
Can you tell me some of your favorite TV shows or movies in that vein? Some of your influences?
I love the Office, I love Seinfeld, and I love Larry David. And I watch dramas… I’ve being watching Transparent and that’s not really super funny… I’m not laughing at it but I really love that show.
What should we expect in season 2?
I’m trying to think of all the episodes at the same time… Visiting some old characters and seeing a little bit more of their background. There’s a dream episode which I’m really excited about… In the first season, there was a lot of stupid stuff that happened… A lot of similar, kind of awkward situations and a couple of weird turns which I think will be really great.
Back to Blog
“Riveting NYC Story PEEPLAND Slices: Final Issue Out 3/22!” by R.J. Huneke is the second part in a series that will unveil a New York Comic Con interview with creators as well as offer up a retrospective of the issues of Peepland, with Spoilers, leading up to the fifth and final book that launches March 22, 2017.
From the very first line, ‘HI, HONEY. FIRST TIME?’, delivered by the image of a gorgeously athletic nude woman named Roxy in a black thong hiked way up over her hip line (more on this later) who is facing a suited man behind plate glass, Peepland has you. The reader is intrigued in a way that a comic book does not usually hook you.
The woman is already striking: she has a hint of muscle to her biceps, she has a keen sense of acting as she gives her naughty glance and line, ‘I’M LIVE.’, and she is totally in control despite the strangely beat up and bright neon box of a room she is in.
This is just the opening for Peepland.
And we will now delve into the books and the interview of its makers further.
Peepland takes the Hard Case Crime publication’s noir, crime, and boiled mystery novels and bakes that grit into a new graphic novel form from Titan Comics. Rune Works and POWkabam was fortunate to receive an exclusive interview at New York Comic Con 2016 with none other than two of the talented people behind this new visual chapter in Hard Case Crime: writer and founder and editor of Hard Case Crime himself, Charles Ardai, and the co-author of Peepland, and homegrown New York novelist, Christa Faust.
The second page of Peepland is another unconventional and enrapturing scene contained as one splash page with no dialogue.
It is Times Square on Christmas Eve in 1986 and the graffiti and peepbooths outnumber the holiday decorations by far.
There is one sound: a ‘HUFF HUFF HUFF’.
Someone is running.
As we previously discussed this person is none other than a porno filmmaker named Dirty Dick who rushes into the peepbooth, Peepland, and begs Roxy to take his VHS tape before he runs off to the subway without explanation.
Despite no allegiance to Dick, Roxy does not bend when the police question her about the incident after he is found dead.
She returns home to her very sick uncle whom she is caring for.
The character is tremendously deep and has gone from playing coy and taking the money from nude-thirsty New Yorkers /or tourists and shown a wit, a loyalty and a purpose in life, despite her young years.
Christa Faust and Gary Philips co-wrote Peepland; the artwork is by Andrea Camerini, the colors by Marco Lesko, and the letters by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.
Each centimeter of the page pours history and makes the reader long for more.
Noir was meant for the mid-1980’s New York City era and Faust delivers it to the T.
R.H.: “What was your inspiration for PEEPLAND?”
C.F.: “It was mostly just because . . . you know being a fellow New Yorker it’s so different now.”
R.H.: “The way that is was, the city.”
C.F.: “That’s never coming back . . . and I wanted to tell that story [of NYC] in a visual medium, because you can tell people what it was like, but if you can show them, it’s more visceral, it’s grittier, it’s more true.”
R.H.: “What I loved is that the historicism is there. I love the 80’s perms [for example].”
And at this point Charles breaks in.
C.A.: “This person,” he says with a smile and playfully accusing point to Christa, ‘was the police person, policing in acronyms.”
C.F.: “I was the G-string Nazi – I was like ‘hike that aaaall the way up to be here,” she says pointing to high over her hip.
C.A.: “What were the buildings, what were the posters, what were [the] hairstyles, ads, shoes . . . what were the characters?”
We will speak more on the Hard Case Crime team’s recollections of infamous New York characters in the next installment.
Issue #2 captures the underbelly of the city from the onset, but its not really the underbelly – most people do not understand that all of the horrible crime acts took place in the most prominent places of the greatest city on earth.
We open onto a limousine of dirtbags snorting cocaine of a hooker’s breast and another threatening to choke her comrade, despite her pleas for straight sex; a protesting woman is thrown from the moving car . . . on Broadway.
The dialogue is as rough as the times and the vernacular works well as the boss who is responsible for Dick’s death ushers the murderers from his steam room as a large breasted woman approaches:
‘MAN I COULD USE A MASSAGE LIKE THAT,’ says the one thug.
‘I GOT YOUR MASSAGE RIGHT HERE, YA FUCKING MONGOLOID,’ answers his Italian partner with a fist-raising gesture.
The story unfolds with more and more great characters and more and more wrinkles in the dirty mystery.
Roxy’s best friend at Peepland, who helped her smuggle out the VHS tape, Aiesha is alerted that her African American teenage son has been wrongly accused of a rape and murder of a white woman and was put at a scene by a police officer.
She is not there to support her friend.
The VHS has come unwound in a cheap VCR and Roxy agrees to do nude commercials for a sleazy neighbor tape bootlegger who sees the murder and attempts to sell it.
And the mob-like boss man puts his two assassins onto the bootlegger, but not before they find out from Peepland’s token operator that Roxy takes care of a Leo, her uncle, who has AIDs, and she might be mixed up with the tape too.
And then we get the pained caption . . . ‘TO BE CONTINUED . . .’
This is just the second part of our Rune Works and POWkabam Comics series of articles conveying the interview of the creators of Peepland. In the next part, we will continue the interview, explore more of Peepland as we approach the fourth issue that just went on sale yesterday.
Surely a trade-paperback collection is in order for this great graphic novel comic book series and this series will whet your appetite as you await it.
For now get down to your local comic shop [I am going to mine today: Best Comics] and buy up Peepland Issue #4 before it sells out forever!
Back to Blog
“Peepland Brings Hard Case Crime’s Grit, Noir To Titan Comics” by R.J. Huneke is the first part in a series that will unveil a New York Comic Con interview with the creators as well as offer up a retrospective of each issue of Peepland leading up to the fifth and final book coming out on February 22, 2017.
Peepland brings Hard Case Crime’s grit and noir to Titan Comics in a new ongoing series of thrilling graphic novel titles that began with the premiere releases of Triggerman and Peepland in the fall and winter of 2016/2017. We were fortunate to receive an exclusive interview at New York Comic Con 2016 with none other than two of the talented people behind this new visual chapter in Hard Case Crime: writer and founder and editor of Hard Case Crime himself, Charles Ardai, and the co-author of Peepland, and homegrown New York novelist, Christa Faust.
The backdrop for the interview was beneath the shadow of a Javits Center pole that stood as a beleaguered island amidst the swarms of hungry readers and fans waiting outside the Titan Comics booth to meet the Hard Case Crime team for a signing of their revolutionary break into the comic book medium.
"That one image had to drag you kicking and screaming through 200 pages." ~Charles Ardai on the cover art for Hard Case Crime's novels.
With authors ranging from Lawrence Block to Stephen King, Hard Case Crime’s paperback books have brought literary quality to a force that is good old-fashioned mystery and gritty noir, the way Raymond Chandler always hoped the world would receive such stories.
The release of the graphic novel comic book series, partnering with Titan comics, is just another step in the evolution of Hard Case Crime, and it is one its co-founder Charles Ardai pictured early on.
C.A.: “We started in 2004 as a reference to the old paperbacks of the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. And those were driven by illustration, but only one illustration per book.
“You had the cover art, painted beautifully, and then you had 200 pages of text, and that one image had to drag you kicking and screaming through 200 pages.”
Hard Case Crime brought back the dime paperback era noir and hardboiled crime novels with intriguing and innovative new tales.
All of Hard Case Crime’s novels feature stunning cover art that is often featuring heroines dripping of sexuality or fearsome scenes, snapshots into murder scenes, mysterious carnivals, or the darker soul emanating from a key character’s off-putting expression.
But as Charles points out there is only one, albeit incredibly enticing and often enthralling image, for an entire novel.
C.A.: “From the beginning I had the notion it would be fun to do something with more visuals where the ratio between art to text was different. And I was a comic reader from childhood.”
This vision was put in motion in 2010 when Hard Case Crime hooked up with Titan Comics and began to formulate a plan for half a dozen noir-esque titles, the first of which are Triggerman, whose final issue came out on February 8, and Peepland, whose fifth and final book comes out in just two weeks.
Both of the premiere Hard Case Crime comic book titles are masterfully illustrated and written.
Triggerman, written by Matz and The Warriors director Walter Hill and illustrated by Jef is a gun-toting smash of a tale; the heat of the gun barrels can nearly be felt through the art on the page.
But what took this writer thoroughly by the tufts of his beard, and ‘kicking and screaming’ – as Charles puts it – from panel to panel and page to page was the utterly unique tale of murder and mystery coming from a peepbooth in 1986 Times Square, when New York City was at its height of derelictness meets art meets punk rock; this is the story held within the pages of Peepland.
When porno filmmaker Dirty Dick rushes into Peepland, he begs a young woman he knows working a peepbooth, Roxy, to take his VHS tape before he takes off for the subway without explanation.
What is on the tape?
We will get back to that in a minute.
The mohawks, lightning rod spikes and 80’s perms adorn the heads of the vintage New Yorkers in Peepland, as this piece reflects a unique era in history that you can see so well you can almost smell the hairspray in the crowds and the black clove cigarettes being smoked beneath the bright neon signs of “XXX” and soda ads at Times Square.
Christa Faust and Gary Philips write Peepland; the artwork is by Andrea Camerini, the colors by Marco Lesko, and the letters by Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.
Each centimeter of the page pours history and makes the reader long for more.
The great characters, especially the formidable female protagonist Roxy and her enticing storyline break new ground in this 1980’s noir work of art.
Christa brings an intelligent, courageous and attractive New Yorker Roxy to life with past experience from her hometown.
C.F.: “Well [for] Peepland, I grew up in the city. My mother’s . . . off of 9th Avenue . . . she’s been there for forty-I-don’t-know-I-foget-how-many years, and I used to work the peepbooths back in the day.”
After thinking on this an apt question followed.
R.H.: “How do you get the female perspective from a peepbooth?”
C.F.: “Well I have a vagina and I once worked in the peepbooths. So double-chromosome easy-peasy; write what you know.”
She says this, and it is great advice for any writer, with an infectious smile that is almost a wink of knowing.
Again the question of Issue #1:
What is on the tape?
$SPOILER ALERT$ Roxy gives in to her curiosity and the VCR shows a public porno session that turns voyeur, Dirty Dick-style, as the camera floats over and captures two lovers, unbeknownst to them, as they embrace up against a wall . . . until the important-looking suited man murders the young woman with his bare hands.
What happens to Dirty Dick, you ask? Well, his run from Peepland does not throw off two pursuers desperate for the tape, and his journey ends abruptly as one of them pushes him in front of the “A” train.
$END OF SPOILER ALERT$
This is just the first part of our Rune Works and POWkabam Comics series of articles conveying the interview of the creators of Peepland. In the Part 2, we will continue the interview, explore Peepland Issue #1 a little further and then delve fully into the second scintillating issue.
Peepland Issue #1 is on sale February 22, 2017.
Back to Blog
The first State of the Game of 2017 brought pleasant news in regards to Year One’s last DLC: “Last Stand” has a primary focus for PvP players, although there will be news of PvE elements to be released soon, as was stated by Massive Community Developer, Hamish Bode with Red Storm Studios Developers, and Terry Spier and Keith Evans who worked on developing The Last Stand.
“It is step one for organized PvP” within The Division,” says Spier.
The new game mode opens new areas of the Dark Zone, with seamless movement through DZ 6 to “DZ North”, which expands the current Dark Zone to 7, 8 and 9.
DZ North will comprise “…more interiors, bigger spaces, rooftops and building interiors,” says Spiers, doubling the size of Dark Zone 7-9 in an Arena style type of gameplay, while promoting player/s to play intelligently, strategically and tactically as a cohesive unit.
They are also promoting no penalties for dying, and the respawning times will be faster and will take place at Area B where heavy combat takes place. Spier also commented on Gearsets and said that there will be NO new gear scores because “we want people to jump into this right away.”
The Last Stand is structured in 8v8 squad mode in which you will have to queue-in (i.e., your 4 person squad will be paired with another squad of 4 to comprise your team and is objective based, capturing Area A, B and C.
This is much like “Conquer” mode in games like Battlefield 1 and Star Wars: Battlefront. Once the objectives are obtained, the session with be over; however your gameplay-style among other things will factor into the end-session leaderboards for Dark Zone. Everything you do counts and will receive bonus rewards for winning.
What is most interesting is that players will be taking on the role of either Shay Agent and/or Rogue Agent—thereby being a good guy is subjective if you followed the game’s storyline.
Also, the players who like or primarily engage in PvE, Update 1.6 will have a New Incursion (I’m hoping its at the USS Interpreid which at one point players where able to leave the playable map before bug fixes in 1.2). More news is to be released on PvE aspects of 1.6 in the upcoming weeks.
Other news Hamish addressed in this week’s State of the Game:
I can’t wait to see what this does for the PvP community and those hardcover PvPers. I am also eager to see how the environmental design north of the DZ will turn out, as well as engaging in penalty-free PvP in the DZ.
We can only hope that the Red Storm team has guided PvP within The Division toward the right step.
"Reinventing PvP in The Division’s Last DLC: The Last Stand" was first seen on Rune Works: Gaming.
by Maria Sumoza